Jerusalem History



Long and Ancient Jerusalem History



Jerusalem history started about three thousand years ago. The Israelis settled in the area. There was also a small town called Jebus and the Israelis and the Jebusites had an alliance about tribal lands. These areas become a kingdom at a later stage. The first king of Israel was Saul but only In King David time the kingdom expanded. Israel was quite a strong force in the region.

Jerusalem 1987 by Colin Rose ©
The reason David was so successful is because he was a good military leader. Jebus was conquered by David’s army in 1000 BC. He made Jebus the capital of his kingdom. The religious beliefs of David and the Israelis were important. The town was situated between two territories. This meant that the power was divided between the tribes and the kingdom prospered under David’s kingship.

Solomon and Rehoboam

King Solomon, son of David, ruled after him. He is still known as a very wise king. His proverbs can be read in the Bible, The Holy Book of Judaism. Solomon had many wives and concubines. This meant he married into the other royal families of the region. Having a relationship with other royal houses aided in keeping away war. Jerusalem History shows the city grew richer and larger. King Solomon built the first temple of Judaism. This is where Jewish rituals were carried out by priests. It also housed the Ark of the Covenant.

While King Solomon was alive the kingdom thrived and so did the people. But when he died they began to quarrel. The quarrels led to fights and the kingdom was cut into two. There was the Kingdom of Israel with a capital in Samaria. The Kingdom of Judea made its capital in Jerusalem.

Solomon’s son Rehoboam became the next king. The division made it easy for Egypt to take over Jerusalem. Rehoboam gave the Egyptian King Shishak treasures from the Temple. This was to stop him from capturing Jerusalem.

Cyrus of Persia

Israel and Judea ended up fighting each other as well as other tribes. The fighting took place over a long period of time. Assyria conquered the weakened Israel and Judea. But Jerusalem was not taken. Assyria did lay siege to the capital. Jerusalem was able to withstand the siege because it had a water supply. There was a tunnel from the Spring of Gihon into the city’s Siloam Pool. The remains of these sites can still be seen today.

The Babylonians were next to take over the whole area. Once again Jerusalem was put under siege. The Jewish nation went against the Babylonians and they destroyed the Temple. The Jews were expelled to Babylon. They stayed there until the Persians conquered Babylon. The Persian King Cyrus allowed the Jews to rebuild the Temple. They returned to Jerusalem. History indicates that once again the city became a center of religion for the Jewish people.

But then The Greeks conquered the Persians and the Romans conquered the Greeks…

Damascus Gate by James Emery ©



Roman Control

The Jews rebelled against the Romans in 66AD. They regained Jerusalem and controlled it for three years. Military back up arrived to lay siege to the city. The Romans did break into the city. They burnt the Temple to the ground. A radical group of Jews hid in the desert of Judea. They took refuge in Masada. Eventually they all committed suicide instead of giving in to the Romans. Jerusalem was rebuilt and named Aelia Capitolina.

The Roman Empire had to be sectioned into two. There was a Western section and an Eastern section. Judea fell under the Eastern section. The East was under the rule of the Byzantines. The Byzantines built many churches over the sites of the Roman temples. But the Temple Mount was left untouched. Jews were not allowed to come in to the city. One day of the year the Jews were allowed in. They came to weep at the place of their destroyed temple.

Muslim Force

Muslim armies rose up out of the Arab Peninsula in the seventh century AD. They had a religious belief in Jerusalem. On the Temple Mount they built the Dome of the Rock. Jews were allowed again into the Jerusalem. History was repetitive. Jews found the Western Wall beneath a mound of debris. The center of the Arab Empire changed to Damascus. Still later it was Baghdad. Jerusalem had no political importance in this world. But then The Crusaders defeated the Muslims and The Muslims defeated the Crusaders…

In the sixteenth century the Ottoman Empire began ruling Jerusalem. They controlled the city for four hundred years. The city thrived until the Ottoman’s grew weak and greedy. Under the pretense of religion Europe acquired land. They did this by buildings churches to get permission for land. Jerusalem was conquered in the Great War 1914 to 1918. The region was called Palestine and it fell under British rule.

Jerusalem History in Modern Times

In 1936 there was an Arab uprising and the British government turned pro-Arab. Jewish Israelis wanted their own state. The British pulled out of the region. Jerusalem was under the control of the United Nations. The Arabs were dissatisfied and war broke out.

Israel and Jordan each got a piece of the city. The city was reunited under Israeli rule after a six day war in 1967. Israel Declared Jerusalem as it's Capital and has guaranteed the freedom of religion.

Want more? The Jerusalem History is legendary, please read more about this wonderful city in the

Israel Museum - Jerusalem.

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